Friday 12 February 2016

Desperate Moon by Jennifer Ott - Book Review

Desperate Moon
By:  Jennifer Ott
Published: November 23, 2015, Amazon Digital Services
Genre:  Paranormal, Historical, Vampire
Pages:  390 Print, 544 Calibre eBook
Source:  Author/Via Bostick Communications

Countess Katerina Vaduva roams Eastern Europe as a vampire for nearly six hundred years experiencing the horrors of mortal man - wars, plagues, genocide and torture. For centuries, she seeks shelter and security in the castles of counts and sultans.

When her husband the Count of Slovakia passes, she pursues a new life with a colonel in the Prussian military. While her new husband quests victory at battle, Katerina desires a Naturalist scientist who seduces her with knowledge and a greater understanding of herself, for this she will risk everything for the one thing she never had - immortal love and the pursuit of progress.
The vampire trend in books is still out there, and Jennifer Ott's take is quite different from the usual modern, YA versions. Desperate Moon is well rounded with oodles of philosophy, medicine, politics, and sex. These are shown through the experiences of Katerina, a 600 year old vampire, and then along with Dr. Siegfried Andrasko. We begin in 1800s Eastern Europe. Katerina’s old husband dies and she and her maid servant, Hilde, set out on travels from their quiet town.

Katerina remarries, a handsome young Prussian Colonel and then meets Dr. Seigfried Andrasko at a ball at their home outside Prague.  Seigfried becomes a physician-psychiatrist to her, both listening to Katerina’s history and studying her medically. He’s something of an eccentric character who understands what she truly is and is more interested than frightened.

The novel examines interesting ideas like Katerina experiencing the feelings/natures of her victims, and Seigfried’s medical study of her blood as well as a look at all the repeated experiences of humankind that do not change over Katerina’s long life.

I really like the theme that Katerina and then Seigfried are interested in bettering the condition of humanity in discovering cures for diseases. When you think about it, vampires live very long lives and so should come to know a lot more than the average human being about pretty much everything. Why not do something good for mankind with it?

Fav quote pg 366
“… but the world does not want cures. They are quite content with their fears.”

The character of Katerina is well written, her sombre acceptance of the world’s ills for 600 years displayed in her sangfroid about things that would turn regular humans upside down such as unfaithful spouses.

Overall, the writing is of a passive style but pleasant though it left me feeling kind of melancholy. The book is quite long and there is some repetition of the sad state of mankind. There are a few anachronisms. The ending is short but interesting and hopeful. I would recommend this for the fans as a thoughtful, East-European-flavour odyssey into the mental workings of vampires, as well as a nostalgic, historical type read. 4.2 Stars!

You will fine Jennifer Ott on the web at these links:

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